Ripples calming in Saline County after firm's bankruptcy

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

On Oct. 31, 2011, MF Global, a commodities and brokerage firm filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy occurred as a large amount of money was discovered missing from customers' funds. It was estimated up to $1.6 billion dollars went missing, which sent ripples through the commodities market and Central Missouri Agri-Services (CMAS), among others, were affected.

CMAS has grain facilities in Blackburn, Slater, Malta Bend, Miami and Marshall. They had several marketing accounts with the firm. In December 2011, CMAS General Manager John Fletcher testified in Washington, D. C. on behalf of the National Grain and Feed Association and stated there were probably not a lot of Saline County farmers who had their own individual accounts with MF Global, so the impact of the bankruptcy would have been low on individuals. He added those were funds of the customers and not the funds of the company.

Flash forward a few months and in April 2012, Fletcher said they recovered about 72 percent of their funds from MF Global.

That was over a year ago.

Now, CMAS determined it wasn't worth the wait or the possible risk to get it all back.

"We sold our claim about a year ago to a consolidator," Fletcher said. "We got about 98 percent of the original amount for it."

And at this point, CMAS considers just putting the past behind them and moving on.

Brent Sandige, from Ham Hill Farms, said they had lost funds with MF Global. At the time the case unfolded it shook the confidence in the commodity market, according to Sandige.

Sandige noted things were kind of shaky for a while, but things are returning to normal. Sandige said they have recovered about 95 percent of their funds and it appears now that they just want to move on and put the past behind them as well.

"I really haven't thought about that for a long time. It's almost like a distant memory," Sandige said.

Contact Kelly Melies at

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National firm's bankruptcy sends ripples through Saline County